Browser Trends October 2014: Back to Work

By Craig Buckler
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Chrome became the top desktop and mobile browser in last month’s browser trends report. There’s less drama in latest figures from StatCounter

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, August to September 2014

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past month.

Browser August September change relative
IE (all) 20.31% 20.44% +0.13% +0.60%
IE11 9.10% 9.22% +0.12% +1.30%
IE10 3.05% 2.89% -0.16% -5.20%
IE9 3.12% 3.02% -0.10% -3.20%
IE6/7/8 5.04% 5.31% +0.27% +5.40%
Chrome 46.37% 45.67% -0.70% -1.50%
Firefox 17.48% 17.43% -0.05% -0.30%
Safari 4.42% 4.64% +0.22% +5.00%
iPad Safari 6.38% 6.56% +0.18% +2.80%
Opera 1.42% 1.36% -0.06% -4.20%
Others 3.62% 3.90% +0.28% +7.70%

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, September 2013 to September 2014

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past twelve months:

Browser September 2013 September 2014 change relative
IE (all) 28.54% 20.44% -8.10% -28.40%
IE11 0.03% 9.22% +9.19% +30,633.30%
IE10 12.16% 2.89% -9.27% -76.20%
IE9 5.93% 3.02% -2.91% -49.10%
IE6/7/8 10.42% 5.31% -5.11% -49.00%
Chrome 40.88% 45.67% +4.79% +11.70%
Firefox 18.37% 17.43% -0.94% -5.10%
Safari 8.51% 11.20% +2.69% +31.60%
Opera 1.14% 1.36% +0.22% +19.30%
Others 2.56% 3.90% +1.34% +52.30%

The tables show market share estimates for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column is the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. 5.2% of IE10 users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

Perhaps the biggest surprise this month is how little the figures changed. That said, Chrome’s desktop market share dipped slightly which is unusual. Safari made the largest gain with a 0.4% jump but I doubt Apple will be throwing wild parties in Cupertino.

Internet Explorer was the only other mainstream browser to make a gain. This can happen at the end of summer in the northern hemisphere when most people have returned to work. However, IE11’s increase couldn’t outweigh falling figures for IE9 and IE10. Only a small rise in IE8 usage saved the browser from an overall drop. Don’t be unduly concerned; it’s a statistical blip and IE6/7/8 usage has halved within the past twelve months. I’ve combined the legacy IE versions into one increasingly irrelevant row although don’t forget Microsoft will continue to support IE8 until January 2016.

Worldwide Mobile Browser Statistics, August to September 2014

Mobile usage in September 2014 increased by almost 1% to reach 31.5% of all web activity. Historically, mobile use often falls during fall but the ongoing rise of mobile devices now seems assured.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser August September change relative
Chrome 22.67% 24.49% +1.82% +8.00%
iPhone 21.75% 23.07% +1.32% +6.10%
Android 22.35% 21.53% -0.82% -3.70%
Opera Mini/Mobile 11.15% 10.12% -1.03% -9.20%
UC Browser 10.33% 9.86% -0.47% -4.50%
Nokia Browser 3.89% 3.56% -0.33% -8.50%
IEMobile 2.34% 2.27% -0.07% -3.00%
Others 5.52% 5.10% -0.42% -7.60%

Chrome is now used on a quarter of mobile devices and its lead seems unassailable. It’s difficult to believe the browser was used on fewer than one in twenty mobiles this time last year. There’s reasonable competition within the browser market but few can match Chrome’s service, speed and stability. While I normally opt for Firefox on Windows, Mac and Linux, Chrome is always my preferred choice on Android.

The iPhone and stock Android browser have been trading places for several months but Safari won the battle in September. The iPhone 6 launch may have had a small impact.

Smartphones now account for more than two thirds of mobile browsing activity. Feature phone browsers such as Opera Mini have served us well but they’re rapidly becoming museum exhibits. Perhaps it’s time to trade in your old Nokia!

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